The Ballad of Erica Levine (Bob Blue)

“The Ballad of Erica Levine” Sheet Music (pdf).
“The Ballad of Erica Levine” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Bob Blue.
Tune: Bob Blue.


When Erica Levine was seven and a half,
Up to her door came Jason Metcalf,
And he said, “Will you marry me, Erica Levine?”
And Erica Levine said, “What do you mean?”
“Well, my father and my mother say, ‘A fellow ought to marry,’
And my father said, ‘His brother,’ who is my Uncle Larry,
‘Never married.’ And he said, ‘Uncle Larry is a dope.’
So, will you marry me?” Said Erica, “Nope.”
“My piano teacher’s smart, and she never had to marry.
And your father may be right about your Uncle Larry.
But not being married isn’t what made him a dope.
Don’t ask me again ’cause my answer’s ‘nope.’”

When Erica Levine was seventeen,
She went to the prom with Joel Bernstein.
And they danced by the light of a sparkling bobby sock
’Cause the theme of the prom was the history of rock.
And after the prom, Joel kissed her by the door.
And he said, “Do you know what that kiss was for?”
And she said, “I don’t know, but you kiss just fine.”
And he said, “What it means is that you are mine.”
And she said, “No, I’m not!” as she rushed inside.
And on the way home, Joel Bernstein cried.
And she cried, too, and wrote a letter to Ms. magazine,
Saying, “This much I know. I am mine, not his.”

When Erica Levine was twenty-three,
Her lover said, “Erica, marry me.
This relationship is answering a basic need,
And I’d like to have it legally guaranteed.
For without your precious love, I would truly die,
So why can’t we make it legal?” Said Erica, “Why?”
“Basic needs, at your age, should be met by you.
I’m your lover, not your mother. Let’s be careful what we do.
If I should ever marry, I will marry to grow.
Not for tradition or possession or protection. No.
I love you but your needs are a very diff’rent issue.”
And when he cried, Erica handed him a tissue.

When Erica was thirty, she was talking with Lou,
Discussing and deciding what they wanted to do.
“When we marry, should we move into your place or mine?”
“Yours is rent controlled, but mine’s on the Green Line.”
And they argued and they talked and they finally didn’t care.
And they joined a small co-op near Central Square.
And their wedding was a simple one. They wanted it that way.
And they thought a lot about the things that they would choose to say.
“I will live with you and love you, but I’ll never call you mine.”
Then, the judge pronounced them married, and ev’ryone had wine.
And a happy-ever-after life is not the kind they got,
But they tended to be happy more often than not.


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